MINNEAPOLIS, MN (BRAIN)—Nine senior transportation leaders and policy makers from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Columbus, Ohio, visited Minneapolis to tour the city’s vast bicycling network last week.
The Bikes Belong Foundation hosted the workshop that was attended by Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and other local officials. Quality Bicycle Products’ advocacy director Gary Sjoquist helped organized the event, which showed how Minneapolis has leveraged modest investments in bicycling to address urban issues such as economic development, road maintenance and parking costs, public health, traffic congestion and quality of life.
Nearly one in 20 trips in Minneapolis is made on a bike, which helps the city save money on traffic congestion and roadway maintenance. And Bicycling Magazine recently named Minneapolis the best city in America for bicycling.
Minneapolis was picked as the site because of common traits shared with Pittsburgh and Columbus—all are large cities with cold winters, rich manufacturing traditions and recent increases in bicycle use. Local companies Quality Bicycle Products, Park Tool and Twin Cities retailers also pitched in to organize the July 13-15 event.
The Bikes Belong Foundation leads these workshops as part of its Bicycling Design Best Practices Program, launched in 2009. Similar gatherings took place in Boulder, Colorado and Portland, Oregon last year. New York City is next, with a workshop scheduled for this fall.
“We have one overarching goal for the workshop: for the delegates to return home inspired and equipped with replicable, effective ideas for improving livability and mobility in their cities,” said Bikes Belong vice president Bruno Maier.